Thursday, June 4, 2015

HRW asks UN to put Israel on child rights violators list. (Also calling for the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas)

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to add Israel to an annual "List of Shame" of children's rights violators, after more than 500 children were killed in the war in Gaza last year.

The US-based rights group called on Ban to resist pressure from Israel and the United States to keep the Israeli Defense Forces off the list due to be released next week.

"Secretary-General Ban can strengthen child protection in war by compiling his list based on facts, not political pressure," said Philippe Bolopion, crisis advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch is also calling for the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas to be included as well as armed groups in Pakistan, Thailand and India for serious violations including attacks on schools and the recruitment of child soldiers.

The current list has 51 groups including Boko Haram and Islamic State as well as the armed forces from eight countries such as Syria, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

The 50-day conflict in Gaza last year killed 539 children, injured 2,956, and most Palestinians are now struggling with trauma and life-long disabilities, according to the UN children's agency, UNICEF.


1 comment:

  1. The United Nations on Monday left Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas off its blacklist of states and armed groups that violate children's rights during conflicts, but criticized Israel over its 2014 military operations...

    UN special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, had included Israel's army and Hamas in a draft of the report she had sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban had final say on the blacklist, which was distributed to Security Council members on Monday.

    UN sources have said Ban's decision to override Zerrougui's recommendation was unusual.

    They also said Israel lobbied Ban hard to stay off the list, though it denied pressuring him. Still, his report strongly criticized Israel.

    "The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of the impact on children in 2014 raises grave concerns about Israel's compliance with international humanitarian law ... (and) excessive use of force," he said.

    Philippe Bolopion, a representative of Human Rights Watch advocacy group said, "Ban's disappointing decision to override the advice of his special representative by removing Israel and Hamas is a blow to UN efforts to better protect children in armed conflict.

    Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said it was good that Ban did not list Israel alongside groups like Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Emmanuel Nahshon, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Israel took all possible steps to protect civilians.


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